Decant Urban Winery & Great Heights Brewing

We’re so excited about this weeks location, or should we say locations?!? Recently we went to Decant Urban Winery and Great Heights Brewing on the same day and they are both incredible. They are both relatively new, located in Garden Oaks/Oak Forest, and right next door to each other.  We’ll dive into both, but first up is Decant.

We had been wanting to make our way over to Decant to check it out for a while now and are so glad that we made it over. We had the best experience there! Kristina is the Winemaker and she and her husband are the owners and operators. Upon entry, Kristina greeted us with the biggest smile and was readily available to tell us about the wines available. The Winemaker’s lounge/tasting room when you walk in is quaint and has the most homey feel (If your home is decorated impeccably). There are currently 3 choices of wines- an Albarino, Zinfandel, and Cabernet Sauvignon. We chose to do the tasting flight of all three because per usual, we couldn’t decide what we wanted to try. They were all fantastic. The Albarino was crisp, citrusy, and so easy to drink. White wines aren’t usually our forte but this one is great. We would drink it out on a patio on a nice day or with some awesome seafood. The Zinfandel was also great and easy to drink. The Cab Sav did not disappoint at all- huge fans.

All the wine at Decant is made in house and they will be adding more to their menu as they are ready. We can’t wait for the next additions. We’ll be back for sure! Kristina was also so kind to talk us through the back room with the tanks and told us about their plan for growing. One day they’ll have their tank room outfitted with garage doors that open up to outdoor seating as well as seating in the tank room. When this is open they plan on serving cheese and charcuterie boards as well and you know we will have to stop by for that! As for now, we truly still recommend.

At Decant, they only serve wine. When the boys showed up, they were craving a beer. They both drink wine but we decided to head next door to Great Heights Brewing. We took our wine with us 🙂 and headed over.

Great Heights Brewing is the coolest place! There are string lights on the ceiling and it has an eclectic and industrial but still warm vibe. So neat. They have all sorts of beer to order and everything that we tried was wonderful. After the first beer was ordered we found out it was trivia night and we knew we had to participate. We ordered a pizza from the truck outside and devoured it. It was greasy amazingness and paired perfectly with the beer. They had all types of beer and release new recipes they’ve been working on all the time. Our favorites were the Amber and Hefeweizen, but we also tried some of the smaller batch beers.

We had the best time drinking beer, eating Pizza, and playing trivia. We never expected to win. We LOVE trivia and always have a blast but can never seem to come out on top. This round was looking similar, but in the last round we strategically wagered our points and came in second! It was amazing. We won a gift card and a pie. Really, the best prize there could ever be.

So, long story short- we love Decant and Great Heights Brewing. The location is easy and they both are local gems. The drinks are perfect and we will be back to both places all summer. Hopefully we see you there!

Peace & Pinot,

The Perfectly Paired Pals

Rodeo Uncorked!

Rodeo Uncorked!

The Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo 2019 is in full swing. It has everything you could ever hope for in a Rodeo and much more. If you haven’t been yet, you still have 11 chances left- including tonight’s show, so you better hustle. If you can, go every night. Wow, just kidding. That would be so exhausting. Just try and go a time or two at least- really at least. Our favorite day of the week at the rodeo is Saturday because we essentially spend all day on the grounds. (More specifically most of our time is spent hanging out in the Champion Wine Garden). Rodeo only comes once a year and for Houston, it’s our biggest event. Everyone you know is going at least once and most are going multiple times. We like to say that El Tiempo on Washington is “the place to see and be seen on a Friday night” and we believe that the Rodeo Wine garden is the “place to see and be seen at the HLSR”.  

Here in the Wine garden there are over 70 different wines to choose from by the glass or by the bottle. They have all competed in the Rodeo’s international wine competition and are all winners in at least one category. The prices are great too! Most bottles are in the $24- $38 range and the markup from retail pricing is truly not that bad. With this pricing, it is so easy to rotate who buys the next bottle for the table. We all know that with the great atmosphere there and the live music that one bottle won’t be enough. If you’re like us you’ll start with a bottle of Rosé for the group (somehow we convinced the men to join in on the pink wine) and then move on to a bottle of Cab. Houston has some pretty dang hot weather, so one thing we always love is that they serve their reds slightly more chilled than we would typically enjoy.  Our favorite Rosé this year on their menu is the Monte Stella Rosé by Llano Estacado and our favorite Cab is the LangeTwins Family Winery and Vineyards Cabernet Sauvignon. Of the two, we were really digging the Rosé.

As for food, you can bring whatever you want from the grounds into the wine garden. Out there is like a Disneyland of fried foods and southern goodness. Everything is amazing and some things are shocking. Shocking might seem dramatic, but there are things like Fruity Pebble Fried Shrimp and I’m sure many other crazy things that make that look tame. Once getting to the grounds, we walk straight to grab food. If we’ve already eaten a meal before we arrived we walk straight to get fried oreos. Everyone has their favorite fried delicacies, but the fried oreos are TO DIE FOR. For you it might be the Fruity Pebble Fried Shrimp or Hot Cheetos Cotton Candy. We wait all year for the Oreos and year after year they live up to the hype. After ordering and walking around some of the food options to see what the new creations are, we head over to grab our vino. If you’re looking for food inside the Wine Garden, they do have a cheese plate and Charcuterie platter. We have ordered the cheese plate out of pure curiosity and our opinion is to go grab food elsewhere. It’s not bad, but we just don’t think it is worth the $18. If you are looking for snacks for the table there are plenty of homemade kettle chips and loaded fry options out in the carnival.

After you’ve gone to see the best rodeo in the world followed by a great concert, don’t forget to head back out to uncork some more fun. The live music continues out in the garden and the bands are always great. We also love to walk around and look at all of the booths inside NRG center. The shops are so cute (especially after the wine) and walking through them all is a blast.

We will never get tired of the HLSR and never get tired of the Champion Wine Garden. We will for sure be there next week on Friday and Saturday. If you see us there, flag us down and we’ll make room for you at our table. If you don’t have tickets into the rodeo, you can always purchase tickets to the grounds for $15 or a season pass for $35.

Peace & Pinot,

The Perfectly Paired Pals

A trip to Sonoma right here in Houston

Location: Sonoma Wine Bar

Recommended time: Happy Hour

The Perfect Pair: A bottle of the happy hour Cab and the Sonoma Pizza

 

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Wooohooo it’s finally Thursday!! Which I’m sure you’ve learned by now, for us means happy hour. Sonoma Wine Bar is a pick of ours and we definitely don’t **WINE** about it. Rightly named, this wine bar has us dreaming of Sonoma and planning our future trip there. Fingers crossed for the near future. We’ve only been lucky enough to try the Heights location, but the Upper Kirby location will be crossed off our list soon. This cozy and homey destination is a wonderful wine bar with a casual neighborhood feel.

 

 

 

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Happy hour is every day from open until 6:30 and it is fantastic. Every day of the week for happy hour they have select bottles of wine for $20, $1 of wines by the glass, $6 glasses of Sangria, $3 beer, and $5 snacks. On certain days of the week they have other deals. Thursdays there is ½ priced pizza. Yum. We went with the Sonoma Pizza and it was killer good. Four words: Gruyere, pesto, meat, and Artichokes. Yum. The wine list has been thoughtfully compiled and there is well over 100 bottles to choose from with every taste profile and every price range available. If you don’t want a whole bottle, they have plenty of options by the glass. On Sunday, they have all their open bottles of wine for ½ by the glass! Yes please! Oh and the wine flights. Oh, how we love wine flights. They all have cute names like “You had me at Pinot” and “well traveled.” A carefully chosen group of three glasses of three ounce pours and we can’t wait to try every single one of them.

 
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Did you think we would make it through this whole post without talking about cheese?!?! They’ve got a variety of cheese and charcuterie boards all sourced from Houston Dairymaids. There are premade boards that have lots of different combinations of meats and cheeses and accompaniments or you can choose to make your own board. We opted to build our own.  🙂 The cheeses we chose were the Drunken Goat and Prairie Breeze. For charcuterie we chose the Salami Etna. The board came complete with crackers, toasted hazelnuts, and honey. We were so pleased with the portions of everything. That didn’t stop us from eating the whole thing in about .27 seconds though…

 

If you make it there quick, you might just get there in time for a glass of wine in front of the fireplace before the cool weather disappears!

 

Peace and Pinot,

 

The Perfectly Paired Pals

European feel with a Houston address

Location: 13 Celsius

Recommended time: After work

The perfect pair: S’mores and Marques Murrieta tempranillo from Rioja, España ‘14

 

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Walking into 13 Celsius each time is like stepping away from Houston and into a European wine bar. It reminds us so much of time we have spent in Europe and specifically reminds me of a little wine bar that my husband and I fell in love with on an adventure in Bruges. I’m not even sure if the place had a name, but it sure has a place in my heart. The fact that 13 Celsius is so similar has me wondering how we made it so long without making this a staple in our rotation. The literal lack of a name on the building or any sort of signage, peeling paint, and marble accents all add up for the most perfect setting to escape the stresses of the daily grind. The last time we went, we went as a group of 4 gal pals meeting for a glass of wine after work. We stayed for 4 and a half hours. Four and a half hours, three bottles of wine, one cheese and charcuterie board, and one order of s’mores.

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Staying for hours on end is incredibly easy to do here. The perfect amount white noise surrounds you in your cozy chairs or on a couch and leads you to have the best conversations and loose track of time. Like I had mentioned, this past trip was a girls night following a long day of work. All four girls that were there work in the downtown area and 13 Celsius is the easiest location to make it to even in crazy 5:00 traffic. We all made it there quickly and with ease.

 

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First things first. We needed wine, cheese, and charcuterie to the table ASAP. We went with the small combination board with two types of cheese and two types of salami. For all the combination boards you get to choose whatever cheese and meats you would like. All the options sounded delicious and we don’t think you can go wrong. We were feeling like we wanted to stick with more spanish flavors (because we had our eyes on a tempranillo for our first bottle) so we picked the iberico salchichon and the chorizo for our salami. As for the cheese, we finally decided on the Manchego and then went off the spanish vibes for the second with cru di capra, which is a firm goat cheese (always a crowd pleaser). Our wine choice was the Marques Murrieta tempranillo from Rioja, España ‘14 and it was perfect. Easy to drink and so wonderful we almost ordered another when it was finished. That’s no fun though! We had to try something else, so we ordered the Vasse Felix cabernet sauvignon from Margaret River, Australia ‘10.
IMG-0220Darkness set in and we were still gathered around the table. The cheese board was long gone and we knew what we HAD to order. The s’mores. We had seen other tables order them and they looked too fun to pass up. Making s’mores is the most nostalgic feeling. The board comes with a little flame and you actually roast the marshmallows at the table. The order of s’mores comes with enough materials for 6. These are not your typical backyard s’mores roasted on an old wire hanger. I have nothing…absolutely nothing against Hershey’s chocolate and your basic, typical S’more. However, these were incredible. The chocolate is Lindt, there are thin sliced apples and dried cranberries you can add, and there are two little spoons on the board with scoops of Nutella and Peanut butter. You can go crazy with the combinations. We kept getting distracted with our talking and burning our marshmallows and could not stop laughing about it. Just like we did as kids… Who ever actually had the patience for the perfect golden brown marshmallow? Making these on a weekday night vs. a weekend treat felt a little indulgent in the best way, as did the bottle of Malbec we added along with them.

 

One million percent we recommend 13 Celsius for any occasion. The pals have nothing but love for this place and will be visiting for years to come. There are wines for every price point and there are different seating arrangements to suit your needs. **Bonus: On Sunday’s all uncorked bottles are half off. ** We can’t wait to hear how much you love it. Better yet — shoot us a comment, insta dm, or email us and we will meet you there!

 

Peace & Pinot,

 

The Perfectly Paired Pals